east coast yarn adventures!

Mike and I were travelling in Nova Scotia over the past week :D We had a magical time driving through the mountains, marveling at the sea and chatting with very friendly locals. I will share more pictures about our trip in other posts. But first, yarn! We first stopped in Halifax (where I was actually attending a conference before we rode off to the sunset and the sea and fun times), and not far from where we were staying is The Loop!

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There’s been some construction going on in front of the shop, so guess what? The scaffolding gets some new sweaters! :D

I bought a skein of locally made wool there, by East Anchor Yarns, in lovely shades of blue/green and pale yellow. (The friendly shopkeeper let me know that the other skeins with shades of pink were dyed with newspaper! Who knew black ink will turn yarn pink? She also helped me with winding the skein into a ball so I can start using it right away :D)

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And so during lunch time at the conference and on the way to Cape Breton Island I was finger-knitting :)

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Can’t show you what I was making yet, because it’s a gift. I thought it would make a pretty special souvenir to buy some local yarn and make something during the trip! I might even write a pattern for this project, it’s super fun for travelling :D

I could have brought the project I was working on at home, but because I mostly knit with straight, long (and metal!) needles, I was doubtful about bringing them on the plane. So I figure I’d finger-knit!

We were staying in Baddeck while visiting Cape Breton. I didn’t know that the village has a yarn store until we spotted the bright pink sign on the way there. Baadeck Yarns! This is the best surprise ever! :D

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It has soooo much yarn… (sorry about the blurry picture, my hands were obviously shaking with excitement)

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The shopkeeper is so very friendly! She showed me the beautiful crocheted cardigan she just finished, we exchanged experiences with various knitting stitches, then she chatted with Mike while I went around the store to touch everything. This is me being ridiculously happy being in this store.

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I seriously had a super hard time walking out the door, with the kind shopkeeper and all the yarns… but eventually I did. And hope to return one day. On the plane home I was knitting with a ball of yarn that I bought there.

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This is all the yarn I gathered from the trip :D (the Sirdar Kiko has already been knitted up)

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I bought the skein with green/purple/brown shades at the Seaport Farmers’ Market from Lismore Sheep Farm, when we drove back from Cape Breton to Halifax to catch our flight. After going to Baadeck Yarns I wasn’t going to buy more yarn, because we tried to travel light and only brought one suitcase and a couple of carry-on bags. But it was really affordable and it has beautiful shades of colours I like, so I couldn’t resist! I wasn’t going to get so much of the brown/tan yarn neither, but the shopkeeper at Baadeck gave me a really good deal because she was cleaning out the shelf… Anyway, good thing yarn can squeeze into small spaces, everything fit in our suitcase in the end :D

Stay tuned for more photos and stories from our trip! :D Hope everyone has a good start to the week!

 

 

 

needle testing fun

The friendly folks at Yarn Canada sent me a Denise2Go knitting set to review :D

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So very generous of them! Clearly I was very excited, and started a couple of projects to try it out :D

The knitting kit that I chose comes with 4 pairs of needles (6.5mm-10mm) and 3 cords of different lengths (14″, 16″, 19″), and they’re interchangeable! It also comes with a 6.5mm crochet hook (handy to have in a knitting kit for weaving in ends, picking up stitches, adding crochet details, or taking up crocheting if one doesn’t already crochet…), 2 end buttons and a connector (I’ll show you what they do in a bit).

The cord locks into the end of the needle with a half turn and a click. And we’re ready to knit!

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I’m super excited about the cords. Since I usually avoid projects that work in the round, I don’t have a lot of circular needles, but I do need them for knitting collars (even though I try to avoid knitting those in the round as well), and for large projects. This is where the connector is very useful.

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I could link two cords together to make a super long cord! Initially I had just connected the cords for a photo, but as my knitting grew I realized that without the cord connector I wouldn’t have been able to continue :S (I’ve never knitted anything this large before).

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The plastic is kind of stiff when it’s new, and it’s a tiny piece, so I found it a bit hard to to grip and turn some pieces in place, but wide elastic bands (from buying broccoli :D) saved the day.

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I also wondered about the cords becoming disconnected in the middle of knitting. So far it’s been fine, everything seemed secure. The cord only came off the connector once when I accidentally turned it while pushing the stitches forward.

And the end buttons! They can turn circular needles into “straight” needles.

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All in all I do prefer actual straight needles, because I can rest them on my forearms as I knit, and I find that easier on my wrists. But have you seen my bin of needles? I will spare you the headache and won’t show you, but it’s a giant mess! The good thing about this kit is that it wraps up in a neat bundle, and it’s organized and small and easy to store. And the case is handmade! Maybe I should look into making cases for all my other needles…

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Yarn Canada also carries a crochet kit and a knitting kit with smaller needles, you can find them here :) They also carry a wide variety of yarn, with free shipping options. I’ve never bought yarn online before, but might give this a try if I already know the look and feel of the yarn I want.

And now I’m off to the yarn shop! :D Happy Wednesday, everyone!

 

last days of summer

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Finally developed the roll of film in my Diana from summer. These are some of my favourites. I really like the angle of this one of the echinacea.

Strolled past an artificial beach by the waterfront. It’s really quite nice with the permanent beach umbrella. Just kind of disappointed that I haven’t been able to make it to a real beach this summer…

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Double exposure of children playing on the WaveDecks.

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And a double exposure of me and the lake :D

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I thought I got some nice pictures on film this summer :) Looking forward to capturing fall colours!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

 

alpaca farm day and surprise visit with Maud

Oh my, it’s been a while since I’ve written! I’ve been busy preparing for an upcoming trip to the east coast (exciting!), and kept delaying writing about our much-anticipated trip to an alpaca farm on one of the National Alpaca Farm Days. But finally! Here are some photos of these friendly animals! :D

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Aren’t they just so fluffy-looking and beautiful? And it was an absolutely gorgeous day.

Most of the alpacas seem too busy eating to be paying us much notice, some would warily glance at us and then trot away, but one or two came up and looked at us for a while :)

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And this friendly one let Mike pet her :D (and this picture and the next were taken by the Diana, my film camera)

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They’re such a gentle and peaceful group!

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The guard dogs were also very affectionate. They would growl a bit when they sense people approaching, but then quickly jumped up to the fence to be petted.

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Then on the highway my sister spotted sings to the house of L. M. Montgomery, so we made an impromptu trip to the house, and we caught the last weekly tour of the season! What luck!

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We got a very thorough interpretive tour by a very knowledgeable and friendly guide. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in Uxbridge, Ontario. The tours are still offered by appointment, and there are scheduled events leading up to Christmas :D

This is a favourite room of the author (affectionately referred to as Maud by the tour guide). I was drawn to the couch by the window when I first walked in, and I thought if I were looking to sit and relax and knit/crochet in this room this would be my favourite spot. And then the guide let us know that the couch was where Maud sat to write her books every morning. Kindred spirits, eh? :)

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I actually did not know that the author wrote 11 of her 22 novels in Ontario. In fact, I didn’t even know that she lived in Ontario. I only ever knew about her famous homestead on Prince Edward Island. I also never read any of her books, and only knew about her and her characters because my sister is a long-time fan. So now I’ve added Emily of New Moon to my reading list — reportedly her best work!

Hope everyone’s having a good week! I’m hoping to post more summer photos from the Diana and another craft project before I’m off to another trip next week :D Stay tuned!